Sodom and Gomorrah is a rough study. It is difficult to get really excited about. I wanted to camp out on this section because frankly there is content in these chapters that is difficult to read and apply.
In the beginning of chapter 19, the 2 angels have left Abraham and have entered Sodom. They are offered hospitality by Lot and his household. However, the hospitality of Lot is shattered by perverted men in the city who demand that Lot send out the two men for homosexual sex and gang rape. Yeah, that is what ‘know’ means in your version of the Bible.
Why do we ‘know’ this? Well, Lot shows his character by offering up his two virgin daughters to the mob of men who are rioting at his door. The mob rush the door and are about to grab Lot when the men from God blind the mob. They tell Lot to get out of dodge. They are about to destroy the town and all in it. Take your family with you.
God shows his mercy in that even though Lot was not gone the next morning, the angels again tell him to leave while they are literally escorting him out. Again the warning… Don’t look back.
We all know that Lot’s wife did. She was punished for her sin of not trusting God to provide the safety. We never know when that net is going to be removed. Even though we are reminded to trust in him over and over, there will be consequences if we fail to obey.
As the fire and brimstone and sulfur overtakes the city. Lot takes up refuge in a cave. At the end of the chapter there is this unthinkable telling of his daughters getting him so drunk on two different nights, so that they can have sex with him in order to get pregnant. He is oblivious to the plans and actions… Just wow. The two kids that were conceived birthed the Moabites and the Ammonites. We’ll meet these people groups later, because from this disgraceful act of sin we must remember that Ruth is a Moabite and that Ruth is in the lineage of Jesus.
This chapter is the one chapter that gets a lot of attention in the Christian world when it comes to homosexuality and God’s response to it. A lot of people say that he wasn’t condoning the specific sexual sin of the town, but that he was angry of the ‘inhospitality.’
However, we can’t read the Bible in a vacuum. It is obvious that the sin was rampant enough that God had to act. Jesus (God-man) agreed to not destroy the town for the sake of the 10… but there were not 10 to be found who were righteous before God. And God, knowing the hearts knew that they would not turn to him. Patience and forbearance had run its course.
Interestingly, Abraham went to bed after speaking with Jesus. He knew that God was in charge.
In chapter 20, apparently Abraham didn’t and hasn’t learned from his past. He again gives his wife over to Abimelech (in fear for his life…) Perhaps Abraham thought that giving her away to another man would bring the son that God has promised… I don’t know. All I know is this is messed up. Well, God makes known to Abimelech the deception that has happened. There is a confrontation. There is restoration, and there is God as he always is, faithful. His promises can not be screwed up by sinful, fleshly people.
And Finally in chapter 22 we have the promised child to Abraham and Sarah. Isaac (laughter) has come to Abraham and Sarah. But while laughter has come… there are also growing tensions between Abraham, Sarah, and Issac and Hagar and Ishmael.
Sending Hagar and Ishmael off seems cruel. But God protects and provides for them (and in doing so, keeps his promise to make a nation out of him.)